The Listed Zetland Stakes at Newmarket is not a contest that we typically consider to be a source of potentially high-class racehorses. It is over 10 furlongs, a marathon trip for juveniles, and so generally not on the radar of the potential classic or middle-distance stars, who go for the top six to eight-furlong pattern events instead.
The 2016 edition of the race, however, now looks like having been one of the better two-year-old races of the season because each of the first four home that day is a pattern winner already in 2017, three of them being horses of particular note.
The race went to the 3/1 favourite who won by a neck from an 11/1 shot, who was half a length ahead of a 20/1 outsider, and the fourth-placed runner, at 10/1, was another three and three-quarter lengths behind. Their names were largely unknown on the day, but look how it reads now when we can say that Coronet, Cunco, Permian, and Wings Of Eagles were those four horses, in that order.
Coronet won the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot on Thursday, Cunco won the Group 3 Classic Trial at Sandown in April, Permian has won both the Group 2 Dante Stakes and Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, and Wings Of Eagles sprang a 40/1 shock in the Group 1 Investec Derby at Epsom.
Coronet had won her only previous start – a mile maiden at Leicester – so finished her first season with an unbeaten record and a Timeform rating of 102p. She finished third to Sobetsu in the Group 1 Prix Saint-Alary on her first start of this year, disappointed when finishing a well-beaten fifth to Enable in the Group 1 Investec Oaks at Epsom, but then bounced back to beat Mori by a neck at Ascot.
She holds an entry in the Group 1 Darley Irish Oaks and, given what one of her siblings achieved, and the famous family that she represents, it would be no surprise to see her line up at Doncaster in September for the final classic of the year – the Group 1 St Leger.
Coronet is owned and bred by Denford Stud, she is trained by John Gosden, and she is a daughter of Dalham Hall Stud’s outstanding stallion Dubawi (by Dubai Millennium).
Her half-brother Streetcar To Stars (by Sea The Stars) was short-headed in a 12-furlong listed contest at Leopardstown, finished third in a Group 3 over the same course and distance and then a one and a half length fourth to Leading Light in the 14-furlong Group 3 Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh, all from just five starts, but it is another of her siblings who is the really notable one.
Midas Touch (by Galileo) won the Group 2 Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial, was a half-length runner-up to Cape Blanco in the Group 1 Irish Derby, and also runner-up in the Group 1 St Leger and Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes before moving to Australia where, in a campaign that included unplaced runs in sprints, he finished third in the Group 1 Underwood Stakes over nine furlongs.
Coronet is out of Approach (by Darshaan) who won the Listed Ballymacoll Stakes at Newbury, was Grade 2-placed at Keeneland and finished third in the Group 3 May Hill Stakes at Doncaster. The mare’s stakes-placed full-sister Intrigued is the dam of Listed Cocked Hat Stakes winner and Group 1 St Leger third Michelangelo (by Galileo), and Aussie Rules (by Danehill) was the best of her male siblings.
He won the Group 3 Somerville Tattersall Stakes over seven furlongs at Newmarket as a juvenile, added both the Group 1 Poule d’Essai des Poulains (French 2000 Guineas) and Grade 1 Shadwell Turf Mile Stakes at three, he began his stallion career at Coolmore and then moved to Lanwades Stud. His progeny include Group 1 Matron Stakes heroine Fiesolana and New Zealand Group 1 scorer Willie Cazals, but, sadly, he died last year at the age of 13.
Approach and Aussie Rules were the best of 10 winners among 14 foals out of Last Second (by Alzao), one of the notable daughters of the influential mare Alruccaba (by Crystal Palace). She was also one of the most talented of them as she won the Group 2 Nassau Stakes, Group 2 Sun Chariot Stakes and Group 3 C L Weld Park Stakes, and was runner-up in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes.
Her half-sister Alleluia (by Caerleon) won the Group 3 Doncaster Cup before going on to become the dam of Group 1 Prix Royal-Oak heroine Allegretto (by Galileo), and another half-sister, Arrikala (by Darshaan), won the Listed Curragh Cup and finished third in the Group 1 Irish Oaks. Although that filly did not achieve fame at stud, two of her full-sisters did.
Alouette was the more talented of the pair on the racetrack, winning a listed contest at Galway and finishing third in the Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes, and the grey has several descendants of particular note, two of them top-class daughters: dual Group 1 Champion Stakes heroine Alborada (by Alzao) and dual German Group 1 star Albanova (by Alzao), both bred by Kirsten Rausing.
The latter is the dam of Group 3 scorer and last month’s Group 3 Brigadier Gerard Stakes runner-up Algometer (by Archipenko), of triple listed scorer All At Sea (by Sea The Stars), listed race winner Alwilda (by Hernando) and multiple stakes-placed Albamara (by Galileo).
Alborada’s son Albion (by With Approval) was only beaten by a head when runner-up in the Group 2 Prix Greffulhe, the lightly-raced Nordic Hero (by Archipenko) won an eight and a half furlong listed contest at Killarney two years ago, Albaraka (by Selkirk) was stakes-placed, and Alvarita (by Selkirk) won the Listed Prix Petite Etoile over 10 and a half furlongs at Saint-Cloud before becoming the dam of Group 3 scorer Alla Speranza (by Sir Percy) and pattern-placed stakes winner Altesse (by Hernando).
Alakananda (by Hernando), a dual winning half-sister to those two Group 1 stars, has done her part for the family as she is the dam of listed scorer Dragon Dancer (by Sadler’s Wells) who was short-headed by Sir Percy in the Group 1 Derby at Epsom.
Alouette’s other notable full-sister is Jude. She was only placed on the racetrack but has become a broodmare of considerable value as her offspring include Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas heroine Yesterday (by Sadler’s Wells), classic-placed Group 1 Moyglare Stud Stakes winner Quarter Moon (by Sadler’s Wells), and Group 1 Oaks third All My Loving (by Sadler’s Wells).
The last-named of that trio is the dam of the ill-fated Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes winner Thomas Chippendale (by Dansili), whereas Quarter Moon’s four blacktype earners feature Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes scorer Diamondsandrubies (by Fastnet Rock) and Group 1 Fillies’ Mile third You’ll Be Mine (by Kingmambo), dam of this year’s Group 3 Craven Stakes winner and Group 1 Investec Derby fourth Eminent (by Frankel).
In addition to Jude and and her blacktype stars, Alruccaba’s progeny also include Alexandrine (by Nashwan), a four-time winner who has a perfect record at stud, with eight winners from eight foals of racing age including the stakes-placed six-time scorer Alambic (by Cozzene) and South African Group 2 winner Kingston Mines (by Archipenko).
This is one of the most famous families in the stud book and that makes Coronet an exciting prospect, both as a racehorse and, eventually, as a broodmare. It would be no surprise to see her make the necessary improvement to win at the highest level.